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Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

Although the spring weather is trying to make its appearance in North Carolina, there are still times where a chilly day comes around, and with that, a craving for a new staple in my kitchen — sweet potatoes! You would think that I would be craving more spring-like flavors or cooling foods this time of year, but those sneaky cool days make me want to reach for something starchy.

Since taking gluten completely out of my diet, I’ve come to appreciate sweet potatoes even more! Growing up I didn’t develop a taste for them, since they are not much of a common vegetable in Mexico. To be completely honest with you, I didn’t like them the first time I tried them here in the U.S. If you ask me today how much I like them, now, that’s a different story!

On days like yesterday and today, when the weather is a little gray, even in the spring (at least in this part of the world), I need something comforting yet light. So I roasted some sweet potatoes, and combined them with caramelized onions and kale, making it into a vibrant and colorful salad. The result: a bright contrast in flavors that mixes sweetness and crunchiness all in one plate. :)

Before I leave you with the recipe, let me share some of the benefits of eating sweet potatoes, one of the healthiest vegetables out there. Not that you need more incentives to eat this delicious gift of nature, but here they are…

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

  • Low glycemic index. The glycemic index of a food reflects the food’s impact on a person’s blood glucose level. Being low glycemic is especially beneficial for diabetics, and a great alternative to white potatoes, rice and flour.

  • Good source of vitamin C, important not only to help ward off cold and flu viruses, but also to produce collagen, which helps maintain skin elasticity, and to protect our bodies against toxins that may be linked to cancer.

  • Great source of vitamin D, which is critical for immune system functions and plays an important role in our energy levels, moods, healthy bones, heart, nerves, skin and teeth, and it supports the thyroid gland.

  • Good source of magnesium, which is the relaxation and anti-stress mineral! Magnesium is crucial for healthy arteries, blood, bones, muscles, and heart and nerve functions. Go magnesium!

  • Contains iron. Iron plays an important role in red and white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune functioning and the metabolizing of protein.

As you can see, this salad is loaded with vitamins and minerals. When you add the properties of kale and sweet potatoes together, you have an exquisite iron-loaded salad. If possible, choose organically grown sweet potatoes and eat them with their skin, which is also packed with nutrients.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

Serves 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 25 minutes

2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon thyme

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange evenly onto a baking sheet and bake until tender (20-25 minutes). Cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic until the onion has caramelized to a golden brown (15 minutes). Stir in the kale, cooking until wilted and tender. Transfer the kale mixture to a bowl, and cool to room temperature in the refrigerator.

Once all the ingredients have cooled, combine the sweet potatoes, kale mixture, red wine vinegar and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

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  1. Katie FitzGerald says:

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this one!!

  2. Cinthia says: (Author)

    Let me know what you think, Katie! : )

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